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Alignment Specs


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Changed to a new set of tires and my steering is no longer centered.. not sure how this can happen but figured a 4 wheel alignment will resolve it.

The cost charged by the dealership is ridiculous so I went round hunting for a specialist to do it. One came across as a recommendation.

He charges almost 3.5 times that of others and claims all kind of experience behind him. Amongst the things he claims, he said alignment is not just about camber, toe and caster. He said there're things like Akerman Angle (when steering is at full lock, 1 wheel is at a different angle than the other) and a whole lot of others stuff that I can't remember.

I figured his machine only gives the standard camber/caster/toe readings so how is he going to figure out what the best Akerman Angle amongst others? Is this guy fOS or for real.

He went on to say that after an alignment, the car is best left on the jack for an hour to let things 'settle' down before taking another measurement to verify the final specs....hmmm....

Then again, some of the other things he said appears to be on target. Like using a pyrometer to measure the tire temp across the inner/outer surface to ensure proper camber.

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Changed to a new set of tires and my steering is no longer centered.. not sure how this can happen but figured a 4 wheel alignment will resolve it.

The cost charged by the dealership is ridiculous so I went round hunting for a specialist to do it. One came across as a recommendation.

He charges almost 3.5 times that of others and claims all kind of experience behind him. Amongst the things he claims, he said alignment is not just about camber, toe and caster. He said there're things like Akerman Angle (when steering is at full lock, 1 wheel is at a different angle than the other) and a whole lot of others stuff that I can't remember.

I figured his machine only gives the standard camber/caster/toe readings so how is he going to figure out what the best Akerman Angle amongst others? Is this guy fOS or for real.

He went on to say that after an alignment, the car is best left on the jack for an hour to let things 'settle' down before taking another measurement to verify the final specs....hmmm....

Then again, some of the other things he said appears to be on target. Like using a pyrometer to measure the tire temp across the inner/outer surface to ensure proper camber.

In principal, he is absolutely accurate - if you are aligning a formula car where all those things are adjustable. On your Boxster, you can set toe and camber. That's it. Ackerman and caster are what you get. There is no way to adjust either on our cars. Find your local SCCA autocrossers and get a recommendation from them.

Good Luck,

Graeme

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  • 2 months later...

I agree with Highlander. And I would also say it's a real bonus to have a guy who actually knows what Akerman and Castor are. If he can fix your bump-steer problem we want to know more.

The comment about letting the car settle reads backwards to me; the car is settled with the full weight on its tires, not on the jack. In fact, at least on my 928, you have to pull the car down to its correct ride height in between adjustments before you can take a measurement. For me I always liked to roll the car forward and backward a car length to make sure we had everything settled back down.

There should be some alignment guys in your area who have Porsche experience and some good references. And getting it done right is worth a bit of extra cash. Especially the silly details like getting the steering wheel centered (-: Be sure to ask for the 'before' and 'after' settings report so you can see what changed and where it was out.

And if you're really interested in alignment, Carroll Smith's book, "Tune to Win" is worth a reading.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I agree with Highlander. And I would also say it's a real bonus to have a guy who actually knows what Akerman and Castor are. If he can fix your bump-steer problem we want to know more.

The comment about letting the car settle reads backwards to me; the car is settled with the full weight on its tires, not on the jack. In fact, at least on my 928, you have to pull the car down to its correct ride height in between adjustments before you can take a measurement. For me I always liked to roll the car forward and backward a car length to make sure we had everything settled back down.

There should be some alignment guys in your area who have Porsche experience and some good references. And getting it done right is worth a bit of extra cash. Especially the silly details like getting the steering wheel centered (-: Be sure to ask for the 'before' and 'after' settings report so you can see what changed and where it was out.

And if you're really interested in alignment, Carroll Smith's book, "Tune to Win" is worth a reading.

Most cars are built without the ability to make changes to the wheel alignment. But you have mention the one thing that will check your wheel alignment problems and that’s bumpsteer.

Edited by Loren
Removed commercial link - please re-read the board rules
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